Eminem’s ‘Music To Be Murdered By’ Kills

Ryan Stewart, Co-Editor-in-Chief

‘Music To Be Murdered By’ Review

“This is music to be murdered by,” echoes Alfred Hitchcock, the king of horror, over haunting instrumentals leading into an introduction of a man bent on defending himself against people set against him and ready to lyrically murder those who’ve had the unfortunate luck to cross him.

While it sounds just a tad over-dramatized and maybe just a touch vitriolic, in my eyes there’s no better way to honor one of the greats than to repurpose his musical format meant to frighten the listener with the goal of criticizing one’s critics.

Eminem has spent years battling with who people want to hear more, Slim Shady or Marshall Mathers, but on ‘Music To Be Murdered By,” he uses this relationship between his rap persona and his real name to create a new version of himself that kills the competition with his own brand of packaged attack rap.

After a dazzling intro track that puts many other artists to shame with it’s succinct flow and crisp delivery, Eminem let’s another rapper open on the first song, Young M.A. And while, I always appreciate when someone who flows as fast and aggressively as Eminem does, takes a break and opens the album up into some slower, flowier tracks, this happened much too soon.

Not to mention that the song would have benefited tremendously by any other artist taking on this role. Young M.A is a laid back artist with a cool flow that doesn’t come at the mic aggravatedly. However, her voice sounds like someone dragged a cheese grater against her vocal cords, and she’s so laid back it sounds like she’s struggling to stay awake throughout her verse.

In fact, there is a similar reoccurring problem I had with every feature on the album except for Royce Da 5’9”’s, Juice WRLD’s, and Skylar Grey’s. None of the other artists; Ed Sheeran, White Gold, Black Thought, Q-Tip, Denaun, Anderson .Paak, Don Toliver, KXNG Crooked or Joell ORtiz, add anything that Eminem couldn’t have done better himself.

And if that list was as painful to read as it was to listen to, then I’ve proven my point.

But setting the one problem I have with this album aside, the actual work of Eminem himself is just as fantastic as I hoped it would be. His winding, complex storms of bar after bar rhymed in perfect syllabic tune, paired with a perfect blend of his old and new styles produce a soundtrack I would more than happily be murdered to.

On “Those Kinda Nights” and “Stepdad” Eminem embraces his past party days and tendencies toward dark subject matter, respectively, in order to create a current adaptation of his older patterns to yield both a instant-classic dance track and a bitter, brash but ultimately reflective anthem.

And Eminem uses the theme of darkness in several spots on the album, dwelling mainly on both foreign and domestic terrorism. He does this most chiefly on the aptly named track, “Darkness.”

In this song, and accompanying music video, Eminem writes from the perspective of the 2017 Las Vegas Shooter, and analyzes the intense lapses in his mental health, with the intent of criticizing our current gun control policies.

The video itself ends with a link to a website that will help United States Citizens register to vote. Eminem, who has long wrote about political events and issues, used his new album for several important purposes.

The first was to address serious and lasting issues on a political and social scale that people need to be aware of and take action about. He also wrote the album with the intent to quell those who are not fans of him and to “murder” them, so as to stop their criticism.

And with the implied double meaning of the title, serving both as a soundtrack for Eminem to attack his critics with, and a take on how we are sitting back while our people are dying, ‘Music To Be Murdered By,’ cements itself as being not just one of the most lyrically and symphonically pleasing albums in recent memory, but among the most socially significant.